C is for Chimera #atozchallenge

Posted April 3, 2013 in A-Z Challenge / 4 Comments

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Today I’m continuing with the Blogging from A-Z Challenge hosted by Arlee Bird and his team of awesome bloggers. My theme is: Elements and features of speculative fiction and entertainment. So throughout April I will be blogging about characters, objects and themes that appear in sci-fi, fantasy and dystopian series.

 Today’s post is all about Chimeras. A chimera is a monster from Greek mythology made up of the parts of three different animals-a lion, a serpent and a goat. Nowadays the term has come to describe any mythical animal with parts taken from various animals, or to describe wildly imaginative concepts.

A Daughter of Smoke and Bone

In A Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, the main character, Karou, is raised by chimera (spelled chimaera).  They are composed of a mixture of animal and human body parts. The term refers to many different races and tribes that have been united for centuries in their war against the seaphim.
Brimstone, the wishmonger, has the characteristics of a human, ram, lion and raptor. Madrigal has the head of a human, the legs of a gazelle and wings of a bat. She is a Kirin, one of the few chimaera races that have more of a human look to them-known as ‘high human aspect’. Because of this she has a higher place in society.

Chimeras in Other Series

  • In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a chimera is described to have the head of a lion, a goat’s body, and the tail of a dragon. The Ministry of Magic classifies them as XXXXX (very dangerous). Also, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Elphias Doge is said to have encountered Chimeras in Greece.
  • In The Lightning Thief, Percy Jackson battles the Chimera and his mother, Echidna at the top of Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.
  • In Once Upon a Time season 2 episode 3, Snow White, Emma and Lancelot have a meal at which Chimera meat is served. The animal is described as “one part lion, one part serpent, one part goat”.
  • The character Beast from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a Chimera like creature, with the horns of a bison, brows of a gorilla, nose and mane of a lion, the back mane of a hyena, the tusks of a boar, the arms and chest of a bear and the hind legs and tail of a wolf.
  • A Chimera appears in the 2012 film Wrath of the Titans as the first creature Perseus fights and is presented as a colossal double headed beast with huge bat wings. 

Recommended Reads:

Have you read any books featuring chimeras?


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4 responses to “C is for Chimera #atozchallenge

  1. What a great word…even the way it sounds. Nice pick.

    My better half recently read, and enjoyed, Smoke * Bone, and it sounds like an interesting take on the chimera creature.

  2. @Margo-I think they're quite an unusual feature in fiction, at least at the moment. Perhaps we will see more since the success of Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

    @Daniel-it is a beautiful word. I used to mispronounce it, though, as I had never heard anyone say it aloud until quite recently *facepalm*. I LOVED Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I felt it was in a league of its own in terms of writing style, compare to other YA books I have read recently. The images seem to have seeped into my subconscious and I dream about it quite often. Can't get it out of my head!

    @Nan-I'm impressed you noticed it, I must admit I missed that

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